Adam Gase is returning for his second season as the Miami Dolphins head coach and needless to say he is as impressive as he was last season.
Gase ran out onto the field this morning shortly before 8:00 a.m. as the team took the field for the first official training camp practice and he immediately went to work on team drills, individual work, and red-zone offense.
When it comes to Miami coaches, Gase ranks up with the best in Miami history in terms of his approach to the team and football in general. Unlike Joe Philbin who was detail oriented but couldn’t connect with his players, or Tony Sparano who was brash, Nick Saban who wanted to coach Miami like a college team, and Cam Cameron who was, well, a mess, Gase pays close attention to both the details and connecting with his players.
In 2016 Gase arrived in Miami with strong endorsements from Peyton Manning and many other players. All believe that Gase was a solid coach who only needed an opportunity. His first season is going to be hard to repeat in 2017 given the fact Miami made the post-season.
Gase isn’t afraid to let players know what he expects either. Last year he released three veteran offensive lineman on the same day when the team opened 1-4. He benched Byron Maxwell after a slow start despite a big contract and the trade that brought him to Miami.
Gase spoke with the media shortly after practice and discussed his impressions of the first day as well as the return of Mike Pouncey and the addition of Alterraun Verner.
Transcripts courtesy of MiamiDolphins.com.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Head Coach Adam Gase
(C Mike Pouncey told us to ask you what the plan is for him in camp. Can you shed any light on that?) – “No. We’re going to take it one day at a time. The guys have a good plan as far as his progression going through training camp and what days he’s doing individual, when he can start doing plays, days he has off. I told him I was like we have the best Jane Fonda workouts for you right now (laughter). He’s dreading the cardio stuff. But he’s done such a good job of trusting these guys and sticking with the plan that they’re setting up for him. It will be nice when we get him on the field.”
(C Mike Pouncey seems in good spirits, though. A lot of smiling today and in practice today. How happy was he just to be out there?) – “I told him the same thing last night. I mean he couldn’t stop smiling and when he’s in the meeting room and he’s like coming out of his seat. You could just tell he was … he missed it. When it’s taken away from you and it has been a few times, I think it really hit him this time to where he wants to make sure he’s out there, he can contribute and he can help us do what we’re trying to do.”
(Can you explain the thinking behind the video boards at practice?) – “We kind of started investigating this in spring. We were working with 8K Solutions and one of the guys that works for Bob White (at 8K Solutions) has known (Video Director) Mike Nobler and myself for a long time and we kind of heard, and (Owner) Mr. (Stephen) Ross kind of knew about it and we’ve been discussing it. We weren’t really sure what was the best way we could implement it. We started doing it in the spring and our guys really liked it and they kept looking back and seeing the replay and when they were out, you can take one of the boards and show that period that was going on. Our guys kept asking us about it and we thought this really might be something good for us going forward. I don’t know everything about it. They started asking me questions. They were like ‘Hey, can we get this period up?’ I’m like ‘I’m calling plays right now. I’m really not worried about it.’ But the guys really liking, that helps us a lot. It’s just another tool for us to almost start watching film before we get in the meeting room.”
(Coming off the playoff season, does training camp feel any different and are expectations changed?) – “The only thing that feels different about training camp, I just really feel like our guys came out there with a purpose, just knowing what to expect and they’re able to come out there knowing that ‘Hey, first day we’re doing red zone and prepare over the summer and be ready to go,’ and they come out here and play fast, taking every rep as serious as possible and making the most everything that we’re doing. That’s something that we’re looking to continue to do throughout training camp. We keep talking about maximizing every day and with how short training camp is and one practice a day, and then you’ve got a walk through, we’ve got to make sure that we make everything count.”
(Can you give us an update on S Reshad Jones’ status, why he began on NFI and TE Anthony Fasano?) – “So Anthony, he’s got a personal thing that he’s attending to right now. I’ve been well aware of that for a few days here. There’s no timetable. I can’t give you an exact day he’ll be back, but when he handles what he needs to handle right now, then football will be here. But he’s doing what he needs to do right. With Reshad, we’re just being precautionary. It’s what happens sometimes when it’s the offseason and you come in sometimes when you’re working out and something doesn’t feel quite right. We’re not going to rush him out there and say ‘Hey, he’s standing out there unhealthy.’ But it’s nothing major.”
(I know it’s only the first practice at camp but how encouraging was it to see WR DeVante Parker pick up pretty much where he left off in spring?) – “Just seeing him come in, you really can tell with him with just his body and how lean he looks and his attitude in the meetings that he was ready to go today, that he’s prepared all summer. These guys have been down here for a while. They took a little bit of a break but it sounds like the majority of them were hanging out all summer working together and I think he was not looking to kind of ease into camp. Last night when I talke to him, he was ready to get after it right away.”
(Obviously with LB Koa Misi being out for the year and the third linebacker job … Obviously a lot of young guys with LB Raekwon McMillan and LB Mike Hull and LB Neville Hewitt. How are you going to approach that in terms of sharing snaps among those three? What’s your thinking in that spot at this point?) – “With us putting Koa (Misi) on IR going into it, that was … He’s coming off of a major neck injury. That was going to be a bonus (if we had him). I mean we’ve been preparing for this for a while. I know nobody else realized that, but we kind of have an idea of what we’re doing. We feel good about everybody’s that’s in that linebacker group. The great thing is they have a lot of experience because they had to play last year. When that second group goes out there, I don’t have a lot of worries.”
(You said early this week that you still had confidence that LB Koa Misi might play again someday. Does that remain true?) – “This caught me a little bit off guard, as far as when we had to put him on IR. It wasn’t really the answer we were expecting and when we got the results, went back out there to kind of have another talk with the doctor, the timetable was not ideal. It was going to be more time – a lot more time – and that was the decision that was made with all of us, in conversation between him, his agent and our front office. I can’t speak on moving forward. My discussions with him yesterday was we’ve got a long time to go before we have to have our next conversation. Right now it’s about getting him healthy and kind of go through that process. This is not something that you can lift or … There’s only certain rehab things that he can do. It’s time. It’s healing. It’s kind of your body dealing with this and it’s a tough … It’s a wait and see for him all the time. It’s a tough thing for a professional athlete to go through because you’re completely out of control.”
(With LB Raekwon McMillan and all of these young guys – LB Mike Hull and LB Neville Hewitt – what do you want to see from them to get that third spot?) – “I think continue with the knowledge of the defense and really kind of get in that reaction state instead of thinking. Sometimes with younger players, they start thinking about ‘Well what if this happens? What if this happens?’ And you have so much mental clutter that you don’t react as fast. That’s why you see sometimes that Mike and Neville, they’ve been doing it for a couple years now and it becomes more reactionary. It takes a minute to get adjusted to … When you are in training camp, all of a sudden it is a little faster than the spring. There is probably a big sense of urgency because of the time. It’s going to be us going through our process day in and day out and we’ll just see how that whole thing shakes out and develops. I like where we’re at right now and I like the way the guys are working.”
(What did you see from DE Charles Harris today?) – “We threw a couple of different things at him just to make sure those edge guys weren’t just coming around the corner, so we tried to run the ball a little bit more. It’s just what we saw in the spring. The get-off off the ball is outstanding. He has a good grasp of what we’re doing defensively. Every time he gets a look that he hasn’t seen before or something that he rarely saw in college – it’s a good thing for him because we need to throw as much as we can with the looks, protections, play actions, run game – as much as we can at him so he can get used to seeing all of these things because when we get in real games, every week is a different animal. You just never know what you’re going to see.”
(What’s the difference between the first day of training camp QB Ryan Tannehill this year versus first day of training camp last year?) – “He’s already corrected me about three times on play calls. (laughter) So that was one. He’s just more comfortable with everything he does. I see a guy that is completely in control of the huddle. Those guys do a great job. The communication was really good today. If something wasn’t quite right on what happened or if the defense played something right, they knew how to talk to each other as far as ‘Here is what we have to do to adjust this.’ They’re making those changes that most coaches have to make. They’re already coming to me being like, ‘Hey, we have to do this, this and this if they’re going to do it like this.’ It’s not only him, it’s that group of skill guys. It’s that comfortability of they have an idea of what’s going on. Last year you walked into this and it was like, ‘Where are we going with this? How does this work? When things don’t quite go right, what’s our answer?’ Now they’re one step ahead. It was fun to go through that today because those guys look like we just had an OTA like three days ago. They look really comfortable and the speed of practice was good.”
(What did you like about CB Alterraun Verner to sign him?) – “Any time you can get a guy who’s been around for a minute is great. We were probably a little surprised that we had the opportunity. Any time we can bring in a guy and bring in competition, it always puts you in a position to where if something happens, at least you have an answer. If you bring in a guy like that, all of a sudden the young guys that are working to fight for a spot, that raises some antennas. You better be on it because you have a guy that’s done it.”
(Do you envision CB Alterraun Verner playing inside or is he going to be working on the boundary?) – “We’ll be mixing him up. We’ll do everything. We’re always going to … The way we do our personnel groups – you see Bobby (McCain) go outside every once in a while because we’re always going … When you get to game day, you only have so many guys active so everybody has to be ready to do everything. Those guys train, they cross-train, just like every other position. We’ll emphasize more inside but he’s going to do enough outside to where he’ll have that experience. It’s just creating competition among that whole group, whether it be inside or outside.”